Magical Reading

IMG_5303Ten Years at Gallery House

The Peninsula Literary November 2 reading was intense, multifaceted, and magical. Many thanks to everyone who showed up, contributed, or helped out! Produced by Carrie Hechtman, and Jean Znidarsic, Peninsula Literary is celebrating ten years of readings at Gallery House.

Nona Caspers started the reading with excerpts from her new book, The Fifth Woman, which brings before us an unflinching array of close studies. Whether a place, an animal, or a person, Caspers’ subjects are unforgettable.

Joey Garcia, founder of the Belize Writers’ Conference, treated us to a vivid piece from the heart that was alternately hilarious and tragic. The Belize conference, coming in the spring, is currently taking applications from writers who are ready to meet and get to know agents in a beach setting, while learning how to bring their work to market.

All of our readers brought their magic: including Bob Dickerson (photo above), whose delivery is almost as riveting and audacious as his poetry; Tania Martin (photo below) of Flash Fiction Forum, and also a Tarweed writer–funny, irreverent and archly layered; Tanu Wakefield, searing poems, delivered with formidable charm; Deborah Kennedy–award winning, vivid work; and Melody Parker nailed her first live reading.


Peninsula Literary has spawned a partner–Tarweed for Writers, taking our ten years of effort in support of writers a big step further. Designed to help writers develop a following while they are creating a book, as well as through publication and beyond, Tarweed is currently in the closed beta test of its first phase–Works In Progress, which will culminate in a reading of Tarweed writers in the spring.

IMG_5286Readings on Video

As part of Tarweed’s phase one, the awesome Mid Peninsula Media Center have videotaped Peninsula Literary’s August and November readings. August is available at under the events tab, and the November reading will be available in a few weeks.

Participate in Tarweed Beta

If you are an accomplished writer with a book under way, and would like help building a following, check out Tarweed, and contact Jean Znidarsic at for information about participating in WIP.

Gallery House

Gallery House is currently celebrating their 60th year as a wonderful collective that brings unique and vibrant art to the community. Check out the exhibit, which includes the fine work of Trevlyn Williams and Martha Castillo. A long time supporter of Peninsula Literary, Williams spoke at the reading about nature as an inspiration for her paintings, and the refuge we all may find in our creative pursuits.



Reading November 2

Grain Elevator A. McD.Next Reading, 7 pm Friday, November 2

Featuring Nona Caspers and Joey Garcia, with Tarweed Writer Tania Martin, Bob Dickerson, Deborah Kennedy, Tanu Wakefield, and artist Trevlyn Williams.

At Gallery House, 320 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

Produced by Tarweed’s Jean Znidarsic, and Carrie Hechtman

Auspicious Friday the 13th Reading!

Nance Wheeler at PLIn the contrarian tradition of Peninsula Literary, we declared Friday the 13th a day of good tidings. We were not mistaken.

On Friday, October 13 an energetic audience braved moderate smoke from the ongoing tragic wine country fires to hear Lita Kurth, Brittany Perham, Margaret Juhae Lee, Jim Cole, and Gerard Sarnat regale us with humor and solid storytelling. Kurth started things off with her singular pithy humor, and Perham followed with character portraits laced with sensuality and ruthless guile. First time readers at Peninsula Literary, Cole, Juhae Lee, and Sarnat finished out the letters part of the evening with delightful variety, and artist, Nance Wheeler finished with a glimpse into the process behind her stunning creations.

We are grateful to everyone who came out to read, helped with setup and clean up, and made the evening one of the more memorable readings for us. We appreciate all the many ways you support literature and art, and allow us to be part of the vibrant Bay Area community.

Jean Znidarsic and Carrie Hechtman, Peninsula Literary

Lita Kurth at PLLita A. Kurth has published essays, poems, and short stories in eliipsis…literature and artTikkunCompositeArtsNewVerseNewsBlast Furnace, the Santa Clara ReviewVerbatim, Compose, the Exploratorium QuarterlyTattoo HighwayVermont Literary Review, and others. She regularly contributes to,, and

One of her creative nonfiction works, “Pivot,” appears in the 2012 University of Nebraska anthology, Becoming: What Makes a Woman and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short story, “Lifetime TV Movie,” was a finalist for the 2012 Writers@Work contest.

She was a featured reader for PCSJ’s Well-Red series in 2016 and a performer in Cinequest’s 2016 Poetry and Performance sponsored by Reed Magazine.


Brittany Perham at PLBrittany Perham is the author of Double Portrait (W.W. Norton, 2017), which received the Barnard Women Poets Prize; The Curiosities (Free Verse Editions, 2012); and, with Kim Addonizio, the collaborative chapbook The Night Could Go in Either Direction (SHP, 2016). She is a Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. She lives in San Francisco.




Jim Cole at PLJim Cole is a 2017 recipient of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers for his story “The Asphodel Meadow,” which was published this summer in the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories. Jim’s short story “Traveler #17” appeared in the July 2017 issue of JONAH Magazine. He has an MFA from the University of San Francisco, where his novel ffrrfr was nominated for the Association of Writers & Writing Program’s (AWP’s) Intro Journals Project. He was recently interviewed by Catapult Publishing on his writing. Jim lives in the town of Duncans Mills, north of San Francisco on the Russian River. When he’s not writing fiction, he works as a senior writer for a French-owned bank in San Francisco.


Gerard Sarnat at PLGerard Sarnat is the author of three previous collections: Homeless Chronicles:

from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012) and 17s (2014). Melting

The Ice King (2016) and Gerry’s other books are available at select bookstores and

on Amazon. In 2015 work from Ice King was accepted by over seventy magazines,

including Gargoyle, and featured in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Avocet, and others.

Gerry has built and staffed clinics for the marginalized and been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he and his wife have three children and three grandchildren.


Margaret Juhae Cho at PLMargaret Juhae Lee lives in Oakland, California. She is putting the finishing touches on a book titled Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History, which chronicles her search for information on her grandfather who was a student revolutionary in colonial Korea. She received a Bunting Fellowship from Harvard University and a Korea Studies Fellowship from the Korea Foundation in support of research for her book. Previously, Margaret was an editor for the Books and the Arts section at The Nation magazine. She has written articles for The Nation, Newsday, Elle,and the Advocate, among other publications. She was awarded a residency at Mesa Refuge in Pt. Reyes. and a residency fellowship from the Sustainable Arts Foundation at the Mineral School in Mt. Rainier, Washington. Margaret currently works as a communications consultant for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Nance Wheeler (photo above) is an artist with influences from the American Midwest, West Coast and Japan.  Nance was born in Illinois and studied engineering at Purdue University.  While working in Silicon Valley her passion for painting was re-ignited and she earned an M.A. from California State University. An opportunity to live in Japan and travel throughout Asia influenced Nance’s work and awakened an interest in the different cultural interpretations of aesthetics.

In 2009, Nance had the opportunity to appear on a local television show.  Not only did she enjoy the experience but she became a volunteer at her local community access station and now produces a show called “Talk Art”.  In 2017, she received a national award for her work. Nance explores the beauty of science and engineering and the abstract forms that are generated in her mixed media paintings.  Nance currently shows her work at Gallery House, 320 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA.





Lita Kurth, Brittany Perham, Jim Cole, Gerard Sarnat, Margaret Juhae Lee and Jeff Grinnell – October 13

Vesuvio SuitsJoin us Friday, October 13 at 7 pm at Gallery House, 320 California Avenue, Palo Alto for a reading of poetry and prose, featuring Lita Kurth and Brittany Perham, with guests Jim Cole, Gerard Sarnat, Margaret Juhae Lee, and Jeff Grinnell. 

Featured readers in early February – Susanna Solomon, plus Joel Thomas Katz and Robert Perry reading from their translation of Dutch poets Ingmar Heytze and Saskia Stehouwer; and fiction writer Pam Squyres.

July 14 Reading

Tarn Wilson at Peninsula LiteraryOur July 14 reading included a wonderful group of readers with a broad spectrum of styles. The effervescent Tarn Wilson(photograph above), the avian Tracy Guzman, and the amazing Peg Alford Purcell, whose Sausalito reading series – Why There Are Words has expanded to several places throughout the U.S., and Phyllis Cline, who rarely comes out to share her piquant style of poetry. The reading included our own Jean Znidarsic reading from the Dystrumpian Almanac – advice from the past on surviving the new Middle Ages, artist Rose of the Gallery House, and Esther Kamkar, who has written a number of books and has also contributed to the Dystrumpian Almanac. Also present in the gallery were notable local poets Charlotte Muse and Patrick Daly, the curators of the Not Yet Dead Poets monthly Redwood City reading series at the Main Street Gallery. We are very grateful to all of our writers and artists, and all who attended and helped set up and clean up. Without you, Peninsula Literary would just be Carrie and Jean having a glass of wine and talking about writing. Check back shortly for details on our October reading.

The Dystrumpian Almanac

Dystrumpian Almanac

Peninsula Literary is proud to introduce the Dystrumpian Almanac to help you navigate mapv1_IBJthe unfolding Dystrumpia. Created by a group of writers, artists and musicians, the Almanac presents stories, advice, poems, songs, and lots more from survivors of the First Middle Ages. Find out what an actual Apothecary from the Middle Ages says about life without health insurance, enjoy the odes and poetry of Troilus, Journalist Meissa de Pizan’s helpful tips on determining whether or not you are a slave, and historical perspectives from scholar Jacques Louis Menetra. A Living Book Project from Tarweed Accelerator for Writers, in partnership with Peninsula Literary, The Dystrumpian Almanac‘s contributing Editors are Jean Znidarsic and Charlotte Muse.